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Sacred Tradition, I thought, was not meant to be used to interpret Scripture. Rather Scripture gives rise to Sacred Tradition through the councils and creeds of our early fathers. If Sacred Tradition is a lense with which we must read Scripture then it only works if the lense itself is infallable, otherwise reading into the text through any form is up for criticism. Fred, honestly, I don’t know why I said the thing about purgatory about paradise, I was actually thinking that the age to come might be the age without sin (heaven) but I was not sure about this interpretation of “age to come” so I left it at that.

I don’t buy this verse to back up purgatory, sorry fellas. It’s too unclear. However, I do find it to back up the Tradition’s interpretation of it. There are other portions of Scripture that suggest there is a place before heaven/paradise, but even the connection to “purgatory” is sketchy; we are left to rationalize it since we cannot find it. Most theologians say “let’s face it, the concept of purgatory is not exactly like the doctrine of the Trinity,” both of which are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, but unlike purgatory, the doctrine of the Trinity is witnessed and is crucial to the Christian faith.

Theologically (and from philosophically) purgatory is quite rational as Fred so wonderfully explained.

*Sigh* Everytime Jesus opens his mouth I find myself being frustrated, “what are you saying to us?” I yell out… other times, “would you just speak in plain 21st century English!!” lol. All the Koine Greek knowledge in the world would not help us to understand fully what He has said. Funny how Jesus Christ is God’s revelation to us and yet, there is so much revealed that we cannot grasp.

Oh, I’m not sure the Solomon quote relates to purgatory (Benedict wrote); “Solomon, too, says, “Anything you can turn your hand to, do with what power you have; for there will be no work, nor reason, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the nether world where you are going.” This nether world reflects the ANE belief that the soul (which is the person; both mind and body) is like a flame that is extinguished through death. Ancient Israel hardly dreamed up anything close to the Greek philosophical ideas of the eternal soul, and especially the Christian concept of purgatory. We should not read into the text too much. Quite simply Solomon is stating that we should work hard while we’re alive because all our reason, knowledge, and wisdom will be gone when we enter sheol. Ancient Israel just barely starting thinking of the Resurrection of the Dead after the Exile. [/i]